Schomberg Vacu-Cart and Filtration System Environmental Impact Study

Environmental Impact Study – South Africa

SDP Ecological and Environmental Services were appointed to conduct an in-depth Environmental Evaluation and Environmental Management Programme for Operations and Monitoring

Extract from the results: Executive Summary.

Hull cleaning operations within the maritime environment are considered a necessity in the efficient operation of all vessels on account of the high costs incurred by excessive bio fouling. Bio fouling, or the growth of organisms on the hulls of vessels, acts to increase shipping costs and increases emissions of carbon dioxide As well as translocation of Alien Invasive Organisms (AIO). Thus, the removal of these marine organisms is an important and regular aspect in ship maintenance.

The SCHOMBERG Vacu-Cart in-water hull cleaning system is an in-water hull cleaning and debris reclamation system that meets the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and in many cases, supersedes them, bringing this method of hull cleaning in line with international regulations and those required for entry into US and European Waters.

The system will entail the contained removal of biofouling from vessels and its sifting and removal to a particle size of 20 µm, while also denaturing and effectively killing cells and gametes from living organisms associated with the biofouling. The system has been proven to evidently improve water quality at a localised scale.

This report sets out the operational aspects of the SCHOMBERG Vacu-Cart and Reclaim System, the results of 7 years of research and development into the environmental management of the system which has been undertaken in 3 countries and provides a programme for the management of the operations of the system within the marine environment. The report demonstrates that the SCHOMBERG Hull Cleaning System meets the stringent environmental standards established by Transnet National Ports Authority and the IMO.

This environmental management programme and the research evaluation contained within this report is therefore presented and recommended for endorsement by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa.

Full Report can be reviewed upon request.

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Environment Impact Study – Mauritius

CLAMS Ltd were appointed to conduct an in-depth Environmental Evaluation of the SCHOMBERG Vacu-Cart and Reclaim Filtration System, water monitoring and sediments during the hull cleaning operations by Dive Solutions LTD in Port Louis, Mauritius.

SGS Ltd ( was appointed to conduct all laboratory analysis.

Extract from the results: Executive Summary.

The system proposed by Dive Solutions for hull cleaning in Port Louis has been scrutinised and various parameters have been verified to ensure that it is an environmentally safe method for such undertaking as claimed by the proponent.

The proposed system uses newly developed technology for undertaking the hull cleaning and very few places around the world has had this system implemented. The system abides to the principle set out in the Guidelines for the control and management of ships biofouling of the International Maritime organisation whereby recommending the capture and collection of fouling, chemical, biological materials and other debris during cleaning and thereafter treating and disposal of same in such manner as to not pose a risk to the aquatic environment. It further abides to the local guidelines for hull cleaning from the Ministry of Shipping and other local regulations.

The laboratory results obtained from the monitoring exercise have shown that the system works, and the discharge effluent are well within the parameters of the Guidelines for Water Quality for Industrial Discharge.

The system has been efficient and significantly reduces the risk of introducing invasive alien species to the aquatic environment. The results further indicate that hull cleaning operations do not alter the water quality in a significant manner from the ambient water chemistry state. The system ‘improves’ greatly the biological nature of the intake by eliminating significant, if not all, the biological loadings in the water.

The system is composed of several distinctive components working simultaneously and added to that is the strain on the system from various outside parameters like degree of fouling being cleaned, adverse sea and weather conditions which may eventually reduce the efficiency of the system. This can however be controlled, adjusted and fine-tuned with the proper maintenance, manipulation and operation of the system by qualified and experienced personnel.

Literature review and internet search, in addition to the observations made during the hull cleaning operations and thereafter the laboratory analyses have brought out the conclusion that this innovative system is the proper and most appropriate way of undertaking in-water hull cleaning operations as it captures, collects, treats the fouling from the hull and thereby immensely reduces the risks of introducing invasive alien species in our water.

The monitoring has been conclusive to the assertion of Dive Solutions and the system is commended for such undertaking.

Full Report can be reviewed upon request.

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